Paintings Commissioned during the Holidays

Every year during the holidays I get a surge of requests for commissioned paintings by customers who are very thoughtful gift givers.  Arguably, a custom oil painting is one of the most unique, personal, and thoughtful gifts one can receive.  My favorite part about working with people on commissions is hearing the stories behind each painting concept.  This year I didn’t get as many commissions as in previous years, because after the earthquake on November 30th people had other things on their minds like cleaning up trashed homes, broken glass, and fixing cracks.  Earth picked a bad time to shake us all up, and I think many retailers and artists felt the economic impact of decreased sales during that time.  Nevertheless, I completed seven paintings in time for Christmas, and they were all gratefully accepted by their recipients.  Now that they are no longer surprises, I can show them to you.  Click on each one to see it in more detail.  All paintings are framed in a natural wood frame, with hanging hardware installed.  The turnaround time is 2-3 weeks.  You can order a custom oil painting at my Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter, or by contacting me at info [at] realartisbetter [dot] com.

Advertisements

AK Beer Week 2019

My AK Beer Week oil painting on display at Midnight Sun Brewing Co. until Jan. 31st

While the rest of the world is clinging to New Year’s resolutions to eat healthy and exercise, Alaskans are gearing up for one of the most gluttonous weeks of the year known as AK Beer Week!  The week is packed with events dedicated to tasting and appreciating Alaskan craft beer, and is capped by the Great Alaska Beer and Barley Wine Festival.  Although AK Beer Week only lasts for 10 days, some people jokingly refer to January as AK Beer Month, and to promote craft beer culture in Anchorage all month long, I always have a beer-themed art show at one of my favorite venues, Midnight Sun Brewing Co.  My art will be on display, and available for sale until January 31st.  Here’s the list of AK Beer Week events that are currently on AnchorageNightOut.com.  More events are likely to be added, so check the list often.

Start training your livers now, hydrate often, and dress for the weather.  “Brave the cold. Revere the beer.”

2018 Accomplishments and One Big Goal for 2019

~ by Maria Benner

Keith Haring Beer Parody by Scott Clendaniel.

On the last day of the year, we always reflect on our accomplishments and struggles, close calls, notable events, and lessons learned.  We also set one big goal, because one goal sounds much more doable than many little ones.

So, our top three accomplishments and notable events for 2018 were (drumroll please):

  1. Trip to Lake Baikal, Kamchatka Peninsula, and Germany.
  2. Publishing our first book How to Draw Alaska Baby Animals: 49 Lessons from the 49th State
  3. Our second 1% for Arts project at Gladys Wood Elementary School in Anchorage, Alaska.

For 2019 our one big goal is to pivot from beer-centric art to outdoor sports themed art such as alpine skiing and fat biking.  Although the beer niche is very fun and profitable, and Scott will continue making beer paintings, he also wants to focus on outdoor scenery that promotes a healthy life style and a sense of adventure.

A couple smaller goals are to publish a second book (this one will be a beer-themed coloring book for adults), and to apply for international artist residency programs.

A non-work goal is to build a sauna on our property in McCarthy!

Cheers to 2019!

Last Minute Gifts from Real Art Is Better

~ by Maria Benner

If you still haven’t finished (or started) your holiday shopping, join the club!  But don’t worry, it’s not too late to order unique gifts in time for Christmas!  If you place your order by December 19th, USPS will deliver before the 25th.  So, go ahead and finish your holiday shopping right now at our Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.

We also have gift certificates that we can either mail to you, or e-mail digitally so you can print one out at home and put it in a card.  That’s an option for the ultimate procrastinators.

This Saturday we’ll have a craft fair booth at Anchorage Brewing Company from 2pm – 8pm.  You can pick up last-minute gifts there too.

What’s Shakin’ (Pun Intended) at Real Art Is Better

You may have heard that we had a big earthquake here in Anchorage last Friday, but it didn’t break us down, and after two hours of cleaning, our studio is back to working condition.  Just don’t look up at the ceiling!  Our property manager will get around to replacing those ceiling tiles eventually, right?  Oh, and Maria has to buy a new laptop.  But it was 4.5 years old already, so we’re not too bummed about it.  Here are some “before and after” photos.

We’re still going to host our annual Holiday Studio Sale on First Friday this week.  We hope you’ll stop by to shop for signed holiday cards, limited-edition prints, oil paintings, and more.  You can even commission a custom oil painting!  If you spend $20+, you’ll get a FREE 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall poster, and we’ll have a drawing to win a free Clendaniel art print of your choice.  We will have a spread of tasty snacks, and complimentary beverages.  Inside the 4th Avenue Marketplace in Suite 4 (333 W 4th Avenue).  December 7th, 5:00pm – 7:30pm.

What kind of gifts can you find at Real Art Is Better?

Custom Oil Paintings

We all have at least one person on our gift list who has everything, or deserves a really special gift.  This is where I come in.  You’ll thank me for this idea later, trust me.  Think of that person’s most special place, or something they really love, like their pet, or their favorite beer/wine, or food.  Maybe you even have a great picture of them doing something remarkable.  Now you’re ready to commission an oil painting from me for that person in time for the holidays.  The deadline to order a custom painting is December 4 if it will be shipped, or December 10 if you’re picking it up at our studio.  If you’ve never commissioned a painting, I can assure you that I make the process very easy for you.  You can read the FAQ about the process on our blog.

Commissioned oil painting. 36″x18″, oil on panel.

How to Draw Alaska Baby Animals: 49 Drawing Lessons from the 49th State

Our first book is available for sale on Amazon.  Drawing is not just for kids!

Original Oil Paintings

Check out the extensive collection of original oil paintings at our Etsy shop.  You can search within our shop for specific beers, or subject matter.  If you don’t find what you’re looking for, you can order a custom oil painting.

Large oil painting for big empty wall Scott Clendaniel Susitna Poppies

Susitna Pops. 5ftx2.5ft, oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

Signed, Limited-Edition Prints and Art Cards

Each print is numbered, signed, and packaged with backer-board in a plastic bag.  Signed art cards are available for holiday cards, or thank you cards.

Limited-edition prints by Scott Clendaniel

You can purchase gifts at our Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter, or at the studio.  If you can’t make it to the Holiday Studio Sale, contact us to schedule a time to stop by the studio.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #161. Beer in the Center of the Solar System.

Beer — a fermented grain beverage, brewed on the planet Terra (Earth).  Has a 5,000-year-old history of preserving grain, producing new and unique flavors, and establishing cultural identities across the blue and white planet.  A bold brew that brings flavor to the galaxy. 

Did you know that 10,000 light years from Earth there is a nebula of ethyl alcohol floating out in space?  It is huge!  About 10 gazillion liters of straight up booze.  It brings new meaning to the Universe, and at least makes me realize how insignificant and unimportant it was when I spilled that glass of beer last month.  It brings to mind the Futurama episode #52 called Godfellas, in which Bender is floating through outer space, and a tiny colony of miniature people brew beer on his chest.  It would have been easier to just stick a straw into the alcohol nebula. 

In this painting I put beer in the center of the Solar System, so this really gives new meaning to the phrase “Sip of Sunshine.”  I was looking to put beer as the center of universe, however the universe just doesn’t have a real iconographic center, and the beer would have just been floating like a nebula in the middle of, well, we don’t even really know what, we just have theories.  Even Universal Studios just has planet Earth for its classic logo.  I named this painting Beer is my Universe, because I wanted to show how beer-centric a person could be.  Sometimes I feel that my life is a bit too beer-centered, so this is a comedic painting pointing fun at that fact. Remember, it’s just beer, and if you don’t get a glass, the sun will still come up in the morning.  Beer is a luxury, while sunlight is required for life!   

Cheers to Terra!  As far as we know, it’s the only planet with BEER!

Only one original oil painting, and limited-edition prints are available at our Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #161.  "Beer is my Universe".  20"x16", oil on panel.  By Scott Clendaniel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #161. “Beer is my Universe”. 20″x16″, oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #160. Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout by North Coast Brewing Co.

I remember the first time I ever drank an Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout on Thanksgiving Day in 2002 at my friend Morgan Brown parents’ house in Corvallis, Oregon.  They have this amazing property just outside of town with several acres, and a creek running right by their big farm house.  We drank a couple of Old Rasputin’s on a walk around the property, and I don’t think I had ever had an imperial stout before — I was only 22 years old.  Needless to say, the decadence of this beer blew my mind!  

Fast forward 16 years (no I am not bringing Old Rasputin to the table today), but last week I drank the 22 oz bottle pictured in this painting with Maria in McCarthy, Alaska.  I had a flashback when I was walking around the ten acres out there that took me right back to Corvallis.  A bit different weather, as I remember blue skies and yellow leaves in Oregon, while in McCarthy we had snow and freezing rain.  I also thought about what to include in the painting to show off the Russian qualities.  Rasputin was in favor with the Czar living in St. Petersburg, but he was victim of a nasty coup and was poisoned, shot and drowned. This reminded me of this iconic cathedral known as the Church of the Savior Built on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg.  Last year I went on a tour of this building, which is spectacular inside and out.  It has a ton of history: the square it is built upon is a historic site where Alexander II was blown up in his carriage in 1881.  His son commissioned this amazing cathedral designed by architect Alfred Alexandrovich Parland, and it was built from 1883-1907.  Completed by Nicholas II.  So when Gregori Rasputin was hanging out with Nicholas II in 1916 when he was murdered, this cathedral was probably an important spot for the religious mystic.  

Russia is a fun, but dangerous place.  Watch yourself when you are hanging out in St. Petersburg.  The same level of safety consciousness we are used to here in America just doesn’t exist in Russia.  For example, the Metro car doors slam shut with no warning, and could easily break your arm. Also when crossing the street use extreme caution as a crazed driver might just be driving on the sidewalk.  You just never know what might happen in Russia!  

Cheers to Old Rasputin Imperial Stout, keeping the memory of Rasputin alive.  As the label on the bottle says in Russian, “A bosom friend is not born suddenly.”

The original oil painting sold.  Limited-edition prints are available at our Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #160. Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout by North Coast Brewing Co. 11"x14", oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #160. Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout by North Coast Brewing Co. 11″x14″, oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.